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Center for Medical Progress lead investigator David Daleiden

SAN FRANCISCO, California, April 18, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — The two-week-long preliminary hearings involving pro-life investigative journalist David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt will begin Easter Monday, April 22 at 9:00 a.m. (PT).

The proceedings will be held at the Superior Court in San Francisco and will determine whether Daleiden and Merritt will stand trial for the 15 felony counts they are currently facing from the state of California for releasing in 2015 grisly undercover videos of Planned Parenthood workers discussing the illegal sale of aborted baby parts.

The hearings are expected to run until Friday, May 3. LifeSite will be on the ground reporting with the latest updates.

The hearings will feature testimony from Planned Parenthood employees as well as expert witnesses in defense of Daleiden’s decision to tape attendees at the 2014 and 2015 National Abortion Federation annual conferences. Daleiden’s undercover videos, currently under a federal injunction ban, will also be shown in the courtroom but sealed immediately thereafter.

Daleiden, 30, is also facing two civil cases, one from Planned Parenthood and another from the National Abortion Federation. Federal District Judge William H. Orrick III is overseeing the civil cases and California Superior Court Judge Christopher Hite is presiding over the felony suit in San Francisco next week. Both judges have ruled that the names of the 14 abortionists appearing in Daleiden’s videos will remain sealed during the hearings so their safety would not be imperiled, so they claimed.

However, one of the abortionists caught on camera by Daleiden recently admitted there has not been “any personal threat” made against her despite her name being in the public domain. Daleiden’s attorneys have long argued that sealing the names of the secret “Does” in the undercover videos has hindered their ability to mount a fair defense of their client. The names of the persons appearing in the videos have already been made public by LifeSite.

Daleiden, head of the Center for Medical Progress, has been viciously attacked by the abortion industry and pro-abortion politicians since releasing his gruesome videos four years ago. Current Democratic presidential candidate and U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris had Daleiden’s apartment raided and videotapes confiscated when she was attorney general of California. Harris received thousands in campaign donations from Planned Parenthood.

Daleiden’s attorneys have repeatedly asked for his lawsuits to be thrown out and for Judge Orrick to recuse himself, but their requests have been denied. Daleiden told LifeSiteNews in February that the felony trial “isn’t a fair proceeding” and that there has been “collusion” taking place between the California Attorney General’s office, Planned Parenthood, and the National Abortion Federation.